Entrepreneur First raises £40m to help its startups scale up

Company builder Entrepreneur First will be creating a Next Stage Fund to support its companies beyond demo day.

Entrepreneur First (EF) has raised £40 million Enterprise Capital Fund, with a £26 million investment by the British Business Bank. With this fund, the company builder aims to help its early stage companies scale up.

The Next Stage Fund will invest alongside early stage VC firms and will help the startups being built at EF scale successfully. It will provide £70,000 loan notes to each company presenting at each demo day, as well as following in their seed and series A rounds.

It will be used to provide key support following investment in growth areas like fundraising, networking, coaching, mentoring, training and recruitment.

The fund will be available for five cohorts and will invest in over 100 UK companies.

“When we started Entrepreneur First, we broke the mould when it came to creating defensible technology startups. We’re proud to say that we are no ordinary fund: we build the companies we invest in. The new fund, supported by the British Business Bank’s ECF programme, will take this on a stage further helping us to continue recruiting world-class technologists at volume to turning them into world-class startups,” EF’s co-founder and CEO, Matt Clifford, said.

Entrepreneur First invests in people pre-team, pre-idea and creates startups from scratch. Since 2011 it has worked with 350 individuals to build over 100 startups that are now valued in excess of $400 million.

Most famously, one of the first graduates from the EF programme, Magic Pony, was recently sold to Twitter for $150 million.

New General Partners Joe White and Wendy Tan White will manage the fund alongside co-founders Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck. As entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture partners at EF, the management team will look to support the companies through their seed rounds and the deployment of first capital.

“We believe the decisions companies make at early stage are crucial to future performance. Unlike other VCs, who focus the majority of their time on deal origination and selection, we will dedicate a considerable amount of time and resource to the performance of this portfolio. It will further cultivate the companies being created by EF and enable us to continue buck the trend in the way that early stage startups are created and funded,” commented Wendy Tan White, general partner at EF.

Other investors in the New Stage Fund include Imperial College London, Freston Ventures, Isomer Capital and a number of entrepreneurs, family offices and funds.

This year’s EF cohort pitching to a room of potential investors today are:

  • Accurx – Working to eliminate inappropriate antibiotic use by building a supervised, linked, person-level dataset, to provide an empirical diagnoses free from human biases.
  • Bloomsbury AI – Building a platform to enable everybody to program. It provides web services that enable everyone to rapidly create, train, use and share models online.
  • Brolly – Brolly’s mission is to re-define how customers experience insurance. Brolly is a mobile app that brings all insurance into one place, across understanding, buying and managing.
  • Calipsa – Calipsa’s mission is to automate traffic video surveillance using Artificial Intelligence.
  • Crypto Quantique– Working to develop a hardware based cybersecurity solution that simplifies, improves, and reduces cost of performing authentication and encryption in a (wired) local network. Our appliances benefit from cutting edge secure quantum communication technology, and can be integrated into current existing infrastructure.
  • Cyra – Aiming to make the hiring process simpler and cost effective for the employers of small to medium businesses, by providing an inexpensive, easy to use and smart Artificial Intelligence based recruiting assistant.
  • Eblur – The company’s mission is to bring about a revolution in the highly competitive and popular eSports game genre, by providing access to an online AI coaching companion
  • Flexciton – The company’s mission is to revolutionise industrial automation in the process systems and energy sector.
  • Intelligent Robots – Its mission is to democratise the use of mobile robots for industrial applications, by developing robots equipped with cheap sensors and controlled by cutting-edge deep learning algorithms.
  • Keypla – Its aim is to build a 360° view of all for-sale properties in UK, to reduce the cost of house viewings. With advances in hardware, the cost of 360° tours can be reduced by 90%.
  • Kheiron – Kheiron is developing and building tools to help radiologists with their various everyday professional workflows
  • Loop Perfect – LoopPerfect’s mission is to streamline the development of C++ code, by using a just-in-time compiler, which allows the user to update their program logic without closing the running application.
  • Neurofenix – Aiming to make rehabilitation more autonomous, enjoyable and accessible to stroke victims
  • Petagene – The company’s mission is to make genomics data cheaper, faster and better. The cost of storing and transferring genomic data is rapidly outstripping sequencing costs.
  • Quotable – The company aims to drastically simplify the purchasing of bespoke goods and services, by providing a cheap, cloud-based solution that automates most of the quotations process and pro-actively provides market insights to both buyers and suppliers.
  • Neo AI – Neo AI develops a technology that makes using machine learning cheaper and faster, enabling new applications around different industries and making complex computations available to more customers.
  • Drafter– is an inbox assistant for sales people. It suggests responses to messages based on how you’ve responded to similar messages in the past.
  • Sanctum Technologies – Working to eliminate the sound of planes for households and companies near airports, by providing a 360% aviation noise cancelling device.
  • Suits Me – The mission is to develop the most personalised lifestyle assistant in the world; starting with fashion. The immediate problem SuitsMe is solving is to bridge offline with online shopping in terms of customer experience, by making it equally comfortable.
  • Alpha I – The company’s mission is to bring research into the heart of quantitative investing, by applying advanced multivariate Bayesian models together with cutting edge computing platforms.
  • Xihelm – Working to ensure that street surveying for utilities are more reliable, cheaper and faster than before, by visualising current and own augmented data from multiple sources, showing where likely assets are, in a user friendly format.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

Related Topics

Early Stage Funding